Hiking from Kettwig to Ratingen and Christmas market!
Telling a joke is not quite part of the local culture, but this is maybe because there’s a huge joke here in Germany: German railway.
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This morning, right before the departure time of our train, it got cancelled. Since there was a train every half an hour, we kind of decided to wait for that. In the meantime, Stefan found out that there was a broken train on the track between Düsseldorf and Kettwig, meaning it was clear that the subsequent trains were to be cancelled as well. There’s, however, this thing called Mobilitätsgarantie, which allows us to get a taxi. The staff from the German railway were obviously not aware of this, and told the others that it’s not valid. I would rather talk to parrots if I want to know something.
So with this, we took a taxi to Kettwig. It took more or less the same amount of time, for about 60€. In the meantime, we learned that two trains after the one that we wanted to take got cancelled. I still don’t understand why they don’t announce this kind of stuff earlier.
At the same time, there was also no train from Essen to Kettwig, but apparently this one was announced a few days earlier. When I was planning this hike, I thought it would become one of the largest groups, but instead it became one of the smallest, not quite surprisingly, after what happened.
We hiked a few times around this area, and also from Kettwig to Ratingen. This area between the two rivers, Wupper and Ruhr, is a vast farmland. So you can see a lot of open fields with sporadic forests. It’s true that it’s not the most exciting area for advanced hikers, but I still like to walk in this area, especially in the winter, when I don’t want a complicated hike.
Kettwig, just like everywhere along the Ruhr, lies in a valley, so we first had to go up a long hill to reach the Ruhr-Wupper plateau. For the rest of the day, it was more or less flat.
It’s been cold for some time, but today it was particularly cold. It looks like it’s going to snow in the coming days. So the leaves were already mostly gone on the trees. Again, just like every hike this winter, we were lucky that it was not raining.
There was a lady from Ukraine. She was one of those who arrived in Germany recently. As she was not very good at English or German, we couldn’t have a complicated conversation. But instead I could learn some Ukrainian. It would be amazing to see more of them more often.
Some places along the path were a bit wet, but it was flat, and the path was easy to recognise. A typical winter hike I would say.
We had a break at Hösel, which is a train station that we would have passed this morning. There were trains again. There was also a restaurant, so I got some French fries there.
It was so cold that I was happy to walk again after the break. Just like before the break, we were walking through typical fields of this area.
On the edge of Ratingen, there was this one castle, through which we usually walk, but today somehow I missed to draw a line through it, so we walked past it, although some people (including me) made a detour and took a few photos.
The Christmas market was concentrated in the market place of Ratingen. Since it was not a very large area, it was extremely crowded. Frankly already after visiting several Christmas markets this year, I’m starting to hate the hot wine, but at least I got a nice Flammkuchen. I miss my ice cream though :(.